How to Know Which Social Platforms Are Right for Your Client’s Business
Having a presence on social media is a key part of any marketing strategy. But not all social platforms are created equal, and the platform that’s a great fit for one business might not garner strong results for another.
As a marketing consultant, though, it’s your job to be able to evaluate which social platforms are the right fit for each client’s business. Today, let’s walk through how you align the needs of each client’s business with the attributes of each social platform to find the best fit.
What Does Their Business Do?
Before you get into the nitty-gritty of your client’s audience and the goals for their advertising, you want to start with the broadest possible definition of what they do. Are they a B2B or B2C business? Making this simple distinction will already give you a lot of direction about the social platforms you should be targeting.
A B2B business should always be on LinkedIn. That is the social site where people go to make connections for their professional life, so any business looking to work with other businesses must have a presence there. There are some other sites where a B2B business can be successful, but this will depend more on the type of audience they’re trying to reach (more on that later).
For a B2C business, LinkedIn might not be as vital. However, Facebook, which is the personal social network with the largest user base globally, is a necessity.
Who Are They Trying to Reach?
Next, you want to ask questions about who their ideal customer is. Some of this will be about their demographics. The importance of each demographic question will vary based on the kind of business. If it’s a women’s clothing store operating only online, then a potential customer’s location is obviously not terribly important, but gender is a significant differentiator.
Beyond just demographics, look at the shared attributes of your client’s most profitable customers. You want to do business with more people who are similar to those top customers, so it’s best to direct your marketing efforts towards people who are like them. Ask yourself: What problem does your client solve for these ideal customers? How do these customers want to be served? And how do they define value?
All of this information will help you to create a profile for ideal prospects to target with your marketing.
What’s the Overall Goal?
Finally, you need to ask your client to get serious about defining their goals for their social media marketing strategy. These goals should be actionable and specific—nothing vague like “draw more attention to our brand.”
Start with a clearly defined mission statement for your client’s social goals. This will help you to understand the kind of content you should be creating, and which platform is best suited to share that content. If your client runs an architecture firm focused on residential properties, their mission statement might be, “to educate homeowners about the role of architects in the design and build process.” This statement will guide all of your client’s social media posts—if the post doesn’t serve this mission, it doesn’t belong in their social plan.
Line Up Your Client’s Needs with the Best Platform
Now that you understand who your client is trying to reach and what they’re hoping to say, you can align those goals with the social media platforms that will best serve their needs.
Start with demographics. A recent report from Pew Research Center shows that Facebook and YouTube have a broad reach across all generations, whereas platforms like Instagram and Snapchat skew younger. So if your client is looking to reach Baby Boomers, Snapchat is probably not the right fit.
You also want to consider the kind of business you client runs. Platforms like Instagram and Pinterest are driven by visuals. If your client owns a retail shop or is an interior designer, these are the kinds of businesses that can benefit from showcasing their work in a visual medium. A lawyer or copywriter, however, might not have as much display on a visually-based platform. Their work better aligns with Twitter or Facebook, which allows them to post commentary on relevant articles and express themselves through the written word.
You also want to ensure that your clients have a presence on any site where people are already actively posting about their business. For example, Facebook allows users to write reviews, and if your client hasn’t claimed their business’s profile there, people may still be writing about them on the platform.
An effective social media strategy can open your clients up to a whole new pool of prospects. But that’s only possible if they’re active on the right social platforms. When you know what your clients are hoping to accomplish and who they want to reach, you can point them towards the platforms that will help them reach those goals.